It turns out McManus wasn’t the first to ponder this issue. In perhaps the Enlightenment’s greatest treatise, one J.J. Wincklemann published an essay in 1764 that finds in statues from antiquity, “The left testicle is always the larger, as it is in nature,” and, therefore hangs lower. Unfortunately, the Wink follows his plausible observation with some medieval poppycock about how the left nut is larger like the left eye is stronger, but no matter. His ostensibly data-driven observation stands.
Ye Olde Pseudo-scientist Winkelmann:
Our sleuth McManus decides to put both Wink and the Ancients to the test himself, so he went into the field. We suspect this research stint may have coincided with some nonsense fellowship or a long-awaited trip to the Mediterranean with Mrs. McManus, either way gave him the opportunity to observe “the scrotal asymmetry of 107 sculptures,” either Ancient originals or Renaissance reproductions.
Old-balls Fashionings of Balls:
The Cold, Wrinkly Scientific Truth
For our male readers, how have you not been able to check yet? Go ahead. Check a friend too. (No need to ask first.) We’ll wait.
Were Wink and the Olds correct? Were they even considering the proper variables? Well, Dr. McManus has the medicine, and it smells like cough syrup and “no.” Drawing from medical surveys measuring these two questions in humans, it turns out testicle size favors the subject’s dominant side. Right-handed cadavers had bigger right balls just as left-handed cadavers had larger lefties. Therefore, since left-handedness is primarily a modern disease, statues will generally have larger right testicles.
MCMANUS, I. C. Scrotal asymmetry in man and in ancient sculpture. Nature 259, 426 (05 February 1976); doi:10.1038/259426b0. Link.